CLA reaction to Government’s fly-tipping statistics

Date published: 20 October 2017

The CLA, whose members – landowners, farmers and rural businesses – frequently face having to clear up rubbish fly-tipped on private land, says fly-tipping is a national disgrace that blights the countryside.

CLA President Ross Murray said: “Fly-tipping is just getting worse and worse. It is a national disgrace. Prosecutions for this crime are ludicrously low, and have decreased by a further 25%. It is high time that Government took a much more active role in tackling this blight on the countryside. Today’s shocking figures don’t even include rubbish fly-tipped on private land, which landowners clear up as local authorities only clear from public land.

“Greater penalties should be imposed and enforced including seizing fly-tippers’ vehicles, and victims should be better supported. We are calling for the appointment of a national fly-tipping Tsar to co-ordinate and oversee a more pro-active effort to get to grips with this national disgrace.”

CLA Director North Dorothy Fairburn said: ““Fly-tipping is not a victimless crime. Private landowners are fed up of clearing away other people’s rubbish and paying for the privilege. If they don’t act, they risk prosecution for illegal storage of waste which is simply not fair. We are calling on the Government to remove landowner liability to clear up waste on private land and for local councils to introduce a scheme which would allow any private landowner to dispose of fly-tipped rubbish at a waste disposal site free of charge.”

“We must all work together with central Government, councils and others to tackle the attitudes and behaviours that lead to people not taking responsibility for the waste they create. We would like to see more creative use of measures like naming and shaming, confiscation of vehicles and other property and better education about the consequences of fly-tipping and littering.”

“Last year, we welcomed new government regulations which enable local councils to issue fixed penalty notices or fines of up to £400 for small scale fly-tipping, but this is not enough. We will also continue to call for a speedier and more effective legal system to deal with offenders more robustly, and urge councils to exercise their powers in prosecuting fly tippers.

"Preston and Hyndburn Borough Councils between them seized 20 vehicles in the Government’s reporting period, compared with only 3 across the entire North East, so there is great variance on how local authorities act on fly-tippers.”

“The maximum fine is £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates' Court, but this is never enforced. If it was, it might deter fly-tippers. Frequently, it costs more to bring an offender to court than the penalty actually imposed.”

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